Water Landing

They're all wet at Red Bull's Flugtag in Austin
Flugtag means "flying day" in German. But it really means "splashing day" in Austin ("splooshtag?"). Produced by Red Bull, this weekend's Flugtag combines the spirit of invention and competition with a taste for the absurd. Teams with names like Chicken-Pult and der WeinerMissile are building elaborate, human-powered machines to ride off a ramp, into the air and then into Town Lake. The vehicles may or may not technically fly, but that's no matter. Showmanship and creativity are just as important to the judges as airworthiness. "Some teams go all out," says Jessica Mandoki of Red Bull. "It's unbelievable."Flugtag originated in Austria in 1991, but the first American Flugtag happened last October in San Francisco. When the show's over, the teams' creations will be dragged out of the lake with a crane and tossed onto a waiting trash barge. (Anyone who cries will be automatically disqualified.) 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 26. For information and directions, visit www.redbullflugtagtexas.com. -- Eric Norvell

Ball Sprawl
Lush with oak, pine and cypress trees and dappled with wetlands and native flowering plants, Redstone Golf Club will sustain some massive scarring this weekend when it hosts the Shell Houston Open. The Professional Golf Association event was moved this year to Redstone in Humble after 28 years of irreversible damage to courses in The Woodlands. The Houston Golf Association and PGA "are like cancers," says Floyd Rogan, a Humble native and local golf enthusiast. "They chew up courses and spit them out with little regard for the land or the game." The tournament may have a new home, but it likely will feature the usual suspects; so far Jay Haas, Justin Leonard, David Toms and other top-ranked players have committed to play. 7 a.m. tee time Thursday, April 24, and Friday, April 25. 8:30 a.m. tee times Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27. Redstone Golf Club, 5860 Wilson Road, Humble. For information, call 281-454-7000 or visit www.shell www.shell houstonopen.com. $20 to $75. -- Troy Schulze

Speed Freaks
Ever fantasized about getting behind the wheel of a really fast car? Zipping along at 200 miles per hour is typically an illegal activity. But at this weekend's Mazda Rev It Up, students get to take a class on speeding and then try out the MAZDA6, the Miata and the Protegé on a simulated street course. To measure students' times against those of others around the country, scores will be posted at www.MazdaRevItUp.com. The driver to post the highest score will go onto the national finals, where she could win her very own MAZDA6. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27. Sam Houston Raceway, 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West. For information, call 877-311-5771 or visit www.MazdaRevItUp.com. $39. -- Cathy Matusow

 
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